Short Exercise: What do Prototypes Prototype?

The game we are working on is a beer pong relay of sorts that includes categorized challenges and allows for large number of people in a room to play. 

Is this prototype as engaging, if not more, than other party games?

  • The party game space is already pretty saturated, from drinking games like beer pong and rage cage to social games like card against humanity and kings cup. We’d need to ensure that our game provides some element of inclusivity and fun that these existing game don’t already cover. Beer pong in particular can be a little exclusive since it requires skill and only 4 players and can be hard to get in on for people who haven’t played before. 
  • A prototype that simply follows the sequence of ‘landing’ cups and completing relay style challenges like truth or dare/take a sriracha shot etc. might be able to test the dynamicism and scale inclusivity that we are going for. We just need to be observe large groups of people working towards one goal and cheering each other on.
  • My guess is that this will work since it’s the principle any type of relay challenges are based on- groups of people working towards one goal and cheering each other on in the process. Additionally, I think the drinking will also lower people’s inhibitions in terms of being loud and ‘rowdy’ and lead to unexpected camaraderie.

Is this game easy to set up and play?

  • Part of what makes drinking games fun and playable is that they’re easy to set up and take very little effort on the hosts’ part. The fewer materials required to play, the better. Since we need to have challenges and differentiate between categories, we need to ensure that there are simple, convenient ways of making those demarcations. 
  • We plan to prototype category markers using cups of different colors which should be fairly easy to obtain and post-its of corresponding colors with the challenges noted on them, stuck to the bottom of the cups. The challenges will be prewritten and categorized such that some categories can be included or excluded based on the setting.
  • My guess is that while basic set up of the cups and challenges will be mostly easy, finding materials for some specific challenges, unless general enough to be adapted, might throw a wrench in the game. For instance if the challenge is ‘take a shot of hot sauce’ and the hosts don’t have any on hand.

Do any aspects of this game pose the risk of isolating certain people from playing, enjoying or participating?

  • Drinking games, inherently, can be isolating for people who don’t drink and don’t want to be surrounded by alcohol. Moreover, some challenges in traditional games like this include long lists of things that only people without certain disabilities can do which can be further isolating. 
  • We will experiment with different decks of challenges, mixes of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cups and find ways to give either option to those that want it and customizable challenges in case some of them need to be better tailored for some abilities or limitations. 
  • My guess is that these elements of inclusivity will be rooted in our understandings of ability and challenge and will likely not cover most edge cases until we are able to allow for participatory testing and understand how other people experience this game that we designed. 

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.